Hearing about the young Kasper Schmeichel, the son of Peter of Manchester Untied goalkeeping fame, got me to thinking about son's and their former professional football playing father's. It's usually one or the other, a great player or a son who falls down the wrong path as he can't live up to the fame and expectations embedded in his name.
I believe Pele's son was a good soccer player in Brazil but then fell down the wrong path with drugs and got into trouble. But I came across this great article from the Guardian about goalkeepers and how they think about the game:
Rupert, the goalkeeper in my team Muswell Hill PSV (aka the Two-Headed Pigs), has handed his gloves to his son, Jack - though the latter has gone into denial and prefers to play outfield. Both are tall, with good handling skills. Not surprisingly, some of the great keepers come from a line of great chuckers - the Italy keeper Gianluigi Buffon's father was a shot-putter, his mother threw the discus and his two sisters play in Italy's top volleyball league.
Rupert says goalies tend to be counter-intuitive - after all, they are the only ones playing with their hands in a game called football, the only ones playing in a different kit in a team game, the only ones who do not need pace and stamina so much as focus and patience. Rupert thinks many are insecure introverts (many start out by being picked last at school and dumped in nets), with a not-so-sublimated craving to show off.
Goalkeepers are loners, thinkers who are always a slip away from catastrophe. Albert Camus, Vladimir Nabokov, the last Pope (a dead ringer for Ron Greenwood, incidentally, and no, I never saw them together) and Che Guevara all guarded the goal. Which leads to another important question: does the philosopher become a goalkeeper or does the goalkeeper become a philosopher? After all, who has more time to think than the goalie?
Perhaps the greatest goalkeeper in the game of soccer today is Manchester United's keeper David de Gea. The Spanish international had a huge game recently versus Sevilla in the Champions League. Here are some of his amazing saves from that game.